The last couple weeks were a bit hectic and scattered. Through it all, I sensed that fabric was being folded and needles were coursing along seams. Sure enough, the Zugster Rando Bag 002 appeared via the electronic imaging machine. I kept looking at the photos and wondering how I could shake loose for a Quickbeam loop into the city to pick it up. After pretty much giving up hope of seeing my new bag in anything other than Flickr sets, Adam and I managed to connect late on Sunday at an undisclosed location where the delivery occurred. After shaking his hand about 23 times, we went our separate ways and I poked and prodded at the bag, which seemed a wee bit nervous about its future.
Just to assure it that it had nothing to worry about, I bumped around a little later than usual, rigging and setting the bag onto the Nitto Camper “Mini Front Rack” on the Quickbeam. I gotta say, as nice as I’d hoped it would look, Adam’s workmanship just made it sing -
The rack setup is not really ideal for it. It would easily work, mind you, but the rack has an angled loop at the rear which pulls it a bit toward the handlebar and makes it slightly tricky to work the cord release on the top flap (More precisely, it makes it a bit tricky to secure the loop - it’s doable, but there’s just things to work around.) The bag is maybe an inch shorter than the rack platform as well. I don’t want to make major modifications to this rack, because the Nigel Smythe Lil Loafer is sized perfectly for it.
You can kind of get an idea of what the rack is like here -
The angled loop is set identically to the Mark’s Rack, which I use on the Hilsen -
And, as I ponder these two images, it seems that it would be a reasonable thing to consider cutting the loop on a Mini-front or Mark’s rack, then reattaching it. And, since I’m cutting it anyway, it would probably make some sense to create a purpose-designed release system, such as the one Alistair Spence used on his Paramount -
Which seems to be a lot about racks and not much about bags. Which wasn’t really my point when I started. One does tend to lead into the other, and I must admit, I hadn’t really thought much about the rack yet. I was just so psyched when Adam said he had a space in the queue that I just dove in.
Still, there are worse problems to have than pondering those possibilities.
In the meantime, with the regular bits that I bring on my commute - U-Lock, keys, snackies, mini-pump, a vest and some arm and knee warmers, my “be-seen” kit of reflective bits and a spare light and some other odds and ends - it seemed to very happily sit proud and square on the rack on the route to and from work. There’s a light coroplast stiffener which helps in the rigidization.
The bag itself is a custom Medium size - Adam sized the width down slightly from the standard dimensions. It fits just as hoped for, and once I move it slightly forward, things will be even more accessible. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the heck out of this bag -
April 21st, 2009 at 8:17 am YUMMY bag.
bag discussions always become about racks after some point, and vice-versa. Do keep us posted on your rack-hacking…
April 21st, 2009 at 12:34 pm Jim! I need a rack project! Let’s confer…
April 22nd, 2009 at 11:26 am Sweet, sweet, bag.
April 22nd, 2009 at 5:28 pm It’s a great looking bag. A couple of questions: does it use a decaleur or does it just attach to the rack and is there a noticeable affect on the handling of the Quickbeam?
April 22nd, 2009 at 10:41 pm Thanks all!
a decaleur can be fitted but it does not currently have one. I’ve just got it strapped to the rack. There is no handling difference that I have detected - certainly none as compared to the L’il Loafer which is the bag I regularly run on the front.